cooking at home resources | designlovefest

i get a lot of questions about my recent obsession with cooking. favorite books or recipes. what videos i like to watch. where i get my kitchen tools. how i keep finding new recipes and staying inspired. so i sat down and really thought about all of this and made a giant list! my new love of cooking has been absolutely incredible and i am so happy to share my journey here! lots of love, bri


i find cooking shows to be so relaxing. i find myself watching them for hours on a sunday. we have an apple tv which has actually been really nice for this new hobby. i have different apps (like kitchen stories) to watch videos and the recommended food videos on youtube can take you down a fun path. a lot of the times if i am going to attempt to make something (let’s say mac and cheese) i will just sit and watch 4 or 5 youtube videos from channels i like and get inspired or learn a new trick or two.

mind of a chef it’s such an inspiring/addicting show! it was definitely one of the things that got me fully into cooking again.

kitchen stories – justin showed me this one last year (you can watch the videos on their website but i prefer the app on apple tv) the videos are gorgeous, nice design, elevated plating, relaxing…i love them! i don’t really like the fast paced videos when i really want to learn how to cook. most of theirs are slow paced but not boring, and no annoying voices, just music! here is a few from their site to start on: chicken piccata, fried rice, brussel sprouts pasta carbonara

chef’s table – it’s been around a while, but still good to rewatch and get inspired by passionate people.

top chef – i loved season 14 (all the episodes are on hulu)

masterclass – justin and i split the yearly pass for the masterclass so we can lay on the couch and nerd out together. it kinda feels like you are back in school and i love that. i loved watching gordon ramsey and wolfgang puck’s class (can’t wait for alice waters this spring)

ugly delicious – i liked the show, but i especially felt inspired by the home cooking episode from this season. david chang is pretty awesome.

munchies – again, i like watching these on the apple tv. but there is tons you can just watch here too. matty matheson’s hash is a fun watch.

bon appétit youtube – one of my favorite things to do

instagram stories – it’s actually been really inspiring for me to show glimpses of my cooking on my instagram stories. i just like giving people ideas and showing that home cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming…it can be completely therapeutic and amazing. you can see a lot of my cooking stories in my highlights! (breakfast ideas is my favorite category)

cooking at home resources | designlovefest


there are so many traditions and activities to do on a weekly basis that will keep you in the kitchen or cooking with people in your life! all of these really changed my view on cooking at home…

sunday dinner/cooking for someone you love – we started a sunday dinner tradition that we try really hard to stick to when we are in town. a few couples get together, sometimes rotate houses, and choose a dinner theme. greek night! pasta! roast and potatoes! everyone makes a dish or brings the wine. it’s been such a bonding experience. i look forward to planning the menu every week. practice your entertaining skills by mastering a cheese board, lighting taper candles, making dinner party playlists, getting fresh flowers for the table…anytime you can cook for people you love, it brings joy.

farmer’s market – we love the hollywood farmer’s market on a sunday morning. don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn more from the vendors. stay curious! try new produce you haven’t cooked with before. just wander around and dream up new things to make.


having fresh herbs on hand – every week i get a new bunch of fresh herbs. this is actually really important for me. $10 of herbs goes a long way and elevates your meals so much! you can also grow your own herbs inside (i always kill mine, sadly)

new restaurant challenge – we are cooking all the time at home but we still have to remind ourselves to get out there and try new restaurants. switch it up and let a menu inspire you. order something you love and try to recreate it at home with your own twist! a cool little challenge. justin likes to make a reservation somewhere nice once or twice a month. we get excited to go on a fancier date, and try new food!

mastering one thing – i think the most important part for me was developing a confidence in the kitchen. whenever you focus on something and put your heart into it…you are going to grow and get better at it. with more confidence, you can push yourself to go further and be less intimidated to make mistakes. try mastering one thing. for instance, right now i’m trying to master the simple omelette. i’ve been trying new flavor combinations. trying to make the egg the perfect consistency. do it over and over and over until you feel great about it! then move on to a new dish.

elevate something basic – let’s say you know how to make something…think about how you can elevate it. turn a simple salmon dish into a masterpiece. make a crust, make a new dipping sauce, fry some dill for some crunch on top, try a new garnish. you want to constantly be thinking about new ways to keep it interesting.

instacart – sometimes i like strolling through the grocery store, but a lot of the times i end up spending a lot because i am just hungry or buy unnecessary things. i usually go once a week and then use instacart delivery when i am feeling lazy or just busy. my favorite part about instacart is that it saves all the items you normally buy so i just go in and rebuy those and then add a few extras. i always end up saving if i order vs. going in real life.

cookbook club – 6 of my friends started a cookbook club. once a month, one person hosts the dinner at their house and chooses a cookbook. everyone buys the book and texts which recipe they are going to make for the dinner (so no one makes the same item). so then we have a dinner where we can try a bunch of different items from the book, say if they were easy or hard to make, give feedback, and just have wine and nice company. it also pushes you to get over the fear of cooking for multiple people.

plating – i get really inspired by trying to make my meals look presentable. garnishes, colors, plates, napkins, cutlery. you eat with your eyes too! keep it creative and exciting to present to someone. something as simple as adding fresh green onions to the top of your eggs will make you feel like a pro. fake it till you make it.

investing in your kitchen – when justin and i moved in together i gained a lot of his nice cooking tools. i noticed how much having nicer pans, spatulas, microplanes…all these things made me actually want to be in my kitchen. i was living with just a bunch of cheap ikea stuff and i never felt excited to cook with them. i started asking for le crueset and staub pans for christmas. investing in your kitchen will make you excited to cook, i promise! food52 is a dangerous site, everything is gorgeous. and here is a list of things i put together last year when i first started!

travel – and of course traveling will always open your mind to new cooking ideas. we were so inspired after our trip to israel, i make some of the dishes we had almost every week! choose a new place to travel to based on the cuisine. take a cooking class abroad! it’s always a good time.

wine club – i love helen’s wine club! it feels so nice to make a homemade meal and open a good bottle of wine to pair with it. helen is so cool and really knows how to teach you about wine in a non-pretentious way.

cooking at home resources | designlovefest


here are just a few of our favorites. not too many because you gotta start somewhere!

bon appetit magazine– i like the simple design of this magazine, and i also find most of their recipes very approachable. i always read this on the plane or a sunday morning to get recipe ideas for the week. i prefer the actual magazine to the website myself. an easy recipe: joanie showed me this vodka sauce pasta that was really tasty. a more advanced recipe:  i’ve made this sausage stuffing recipe twice and it’s a major HIT. save it for your next thansgiving. justin and i cooked an entire meal this year with the bon appetit thanksgiving issue and had the best time doing it!! such amazing memories.

alice waters – try this book, the recipes never have too many recipes and don’t feel overwhelming. it will make you rethink the ingredients you are buying!

donna hay she is just such a gem. her food is so pretty and they give me so many ideas! try this book for easy recipes.

valleybrink road – this is my friend barrett’s website. she’s always cooking up something for her lil fam that i want to eat. and i like that a lot of her recipes are on the healthy side. get inspired by her faves here.

jeruselum – this was my favorite book from the cookbook club so far. it introduced me to so many new spices that i love. sumac is amazing! make the turkey and zucchini burgers with the sumac sauce.

DLF food column – joanie and ivan work really hard each week to make food that you will have fun making. i make their recipes ALL the time. when i am stuck on what to make for an easy weeknight dinner i always scroll through the food column.

it’s all good – gwenyth’s cookbook, it’s all good, is a great book to get you into making healthy food at home. definitely try the braised chicken with olives and lemon.

ok, i am sure i will think of more but i would love to hear from you on what keeps YOU in the kitchen? what inspires you and keeps you motivated to cook at home? i am thinking of going back to a longer cooking class/school…cooking is really on the BRAIN lately! -bri

(photo sources: herriott grace and louise hagger)


Add your own

    Anonymous says:

    For the sake of Christ, learn punctuation. I was led here from Quora. I am certainly going to downvote the post. Personal possessive, capital ‘I.’ All proper pronouns, like names, are capitalized. Do better, please.

    Josie says:

    Wow… learn to loosen up a little. It’s a stylistic choice, consistent across this particular blog for years. No one owes you consistent AP style across the internet.

    bri says:

    ha thanks josie.

    hali says:

    haha! honey, do you have any idea where you are!? the blog is called DESIGN LOVE FEST, for starters. i can’t imagine an internet where punctuation ruled over aesthetics 100% of the time… yikes.

    long time reader here, thanks for the thoughtful post. I’d love to know your thoughts on the Great British Bake Off… most of the time I’m not all together appetized by what they’re baking but it does make me want to get a kitchen scale and it somehow restores my faith in humanity every episode, which apparently is worth a lot these days. 🙂

    bri says:

    thanks girl! sometimes i watch that show in the background. i am just not very into baking, but i still like it.

    Caitlin says:

    This is great, thank you for sharing your resources (and being authentic enough to not proofread the hell out of your post LOL who cares) !!!

    bri says:

    not my style, you know that! 🙂

    Melanie says:

    I can see both points. I know it’s the style of the blog, but it IS annoying when someone doesn’t use proper grammar, especially not capitalizing I when used as a pronoun.

    Josie says:

    See also: Pasta Grannies on YouTube. Only a few minutes each, but every time I watch, I’m ready to just move to Italy and dedicate my life to pasta!

    Lynne says:

    I don’t know why, but for some reason I absolutely love to see you cooking on my Instagram stories. I love these lists and hope you will continue to update us on what cookbooks you are using in your cookbook club. I just get a happy feeling when I see you cooking. I can’t wait to hear about the garden you and Justin have going. I hope you post some pics and update us on that too. Here are a couple of folks I also enjoy on Instagram stories: @alexandracooks, and @smittenkitchen. Thanks for sharing with us Bri! Don’t let the haters get you down, I think you are awesome. I love your blog!

    Courtney says:

    I agree with the person above- I love your IG cooking stories!! They’re so inspiring. Also, I’ve always been obsessed with David Chang (because Momofuku!) buuuut Ugly Delicious really did me in! So inspiring to see so many passionate chefs. Planning a trip to Copenhagen JUST to eat at Noma 😉 Thanks for all of these great tips!

    Melissa says:

    Bri- i love all your instastories. My favorites are when you go through and organizing your closet and your bathroom (I think I could watch people organize all day and be totally satisfied!) anyway, your blog/instagram are great. All of it! Keep doing what you’re doing…

    Rachel says:

    you have to check out “It’s alive with brad leone” on Bon Apetite’s youtube channel. My husband and I laugh so hard.

    rebecca says:

    I highly, highly recommend Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons cookbook to everyone for everything, but I think it would be especially great for cookbook club. Knock-out, delicious, vegetable driven recipes.

    Bella says:

    Already spending all my money on food 52 😀
    I love this book http://www.saladforpresident.com/the-book/ Pretty and full of super nice recipes, specially for summer 🙂

    Crystal says:

    Bri your amazing. I love everything about your IG. I really appreciate that you share so much information about any and everything.

    Joni says:

    Love your blog! I’ve heard you mention an Israel trip a couple times. Have you ever posted about it?

    Nikki says:

    Awesome post and sources, love the images too!


    Kristen says:

    I’ve been getting into cooking so much in the last 2 years—I’ve always been a pinterester for quick recipes or tricks, and a cookbook collector, but it wasn’t until I got A Seat at the Table that I began my newfound love affair with cookbook recipes. Also, watching you gain a further interest in cooking has been inspiring cause it started happening for me again around the same time—I also got masterclass for my birthday and can’t wait to start delving into those cooking classes—love following you!

    Dawn says:

    Love love love your site and your food posts are always so gorgeous! I made the lamb meatballs a couple of weeks ago because they looked so pretty!! Happy to say they also tasted amazing! This is a great post and it makes me feel even more inspired to try new recipes.

    One thing I have been wondering, do you have a recipe index on the site? If you do I can’t find it and sometimes I struggle to find recipes I think I have seen before. Anyway, index or not I love reading your posts! 🙂

    bri says:

    hey dawn, thanks for your comment! we don’t have an index but everything is labeled by keyword so if you wanted to make meatblls you could type that into the search bar and they’d show up. hope that helps!

    Love this post! So glad the cooking bug hit you! xx

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